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After/Shock

Anica James | Canada and Nepal

Meet Up

This story is about my personal journey with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and what it looks like from an internal point of view.

On June 5, 2014 I was manipulated, threatened, held against my will and sexually assaulted by a renowned Nepali photojournalist in Kathmandu, Nepal.

He was doing everything that he could to rape me that night, and I will never forget when he said: “If you don’t have sex with me, I will destroy your career.”

This event sent me spiraling downwards; everything associated with photojournalism triggered me for months on end, and it nearly caused me to give up photography altogether.

The following pictures document my experience over the past two years, coping with my trauma and now attempting to move beyond it.

Sadly, I know that what happened to me is not uncommon, especially when on a global scale, 1 out of 3 women have been or will be sexually assaulted.

The National Women's Study reported that 30% of rape and sexual assault victims develop PTSD at some point during their lives; for those who do, it can be toxic and crippling on a physical, psychological, and sociological level.

One of the main symptoms of PTSD is avoidance, so when the trauma is related to work, it can be extremely difficult to return to that same field of employment.For some victims, it can take years to seek the professional help that they need after experiencing a traumatic event because it can be so overwhelming.

The road to recovery has been tough for me, and I know that it is not over. I hope that my story will make media organizations and professionals aware that more resources and outreach programs need to be available for those who have experienced personal trauma on the job, especially when it is not associated with war or conflict zones. Attacks and trauma are not limited to those jobs.

But more so, I hope that it will help people understand what PTSD is like from an internal point of view, and that those who have experienced something similar will gain strength to share their story as well.

Anica James

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

+1 (902) 220-4951

@anicajames

www.anicajames.com

anicajamesphotography@gmail.com

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